We are thrilled to announce April's Artist of the Month - Lolita. Hot on the heels of RBN's anniversary comes one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, Artist of the Month announcements to date! Read the full story on how we were able to work with the authors at RockGamer to land a track with over 4.6 million views on YouTube from an artist that is COMPLETELY unlike anything folks have seen in RBN to date. Introducing...Lolita.
We were able to sit down with Lolita for a short interview before she headed out on tour to support her new album On a Wing and a Prayer. Read on for the chat with the very special artist, and then check out our interview with the lucky authoring company that landed this star.
HMX: So, how long have you been singing?
Lolita: (laughs) How long have you been interviewing?
HMX: I’ve done a few for the website, I didn’t—
Lolita: No, sorry, no offense intended. I’m just used to a (does air quotes) certain level of journalism. You see, asking a singer how long they’ve been singing is like… like asking the rain how long it’s been wet. To put it in terms that your readers might understand, it’s like asking The Rock Band how long it’s been a game… All I can say is: I am, you know?
HMX: Who are some of your musical influences?
Lolita: I prefer to think of them as my “soul friends.” I hate to even name names because, as you know, I’m not into dropping names. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few… Throbbing Gristle, Serge Gainsbourg, Talk Talk… it’s like, is it even possible to not be influenced by music like that? (laughs) My good friend Joanna Newsom and I joke about that all the time. And then of course there’s the obvious.
HMX: The obvious?
Lolita: Well I mean you can probably gather from my work that I’m heavily influenced by Eno. I wouldn’t say my work is derivative, but admittedly (removes sunglasses) I’m a fan. His work informs my performance as well as my poetry.
HMX: I’m not familiar with some of those artists...
Lolita: I’m not surprised.
HMX: So you write poems as well then?
Lolita: I prefer to think of them as “heartsongs.”
HMX: How did you get into Drowning Pool? Did your owner play their music a lot?
Lolita: My “owner”?
Lolita: Wait. Wait, let me get this straight. So you see a parrot and a woman and automatically assume she “owns” me? (stands, paces) What year is this, you know? I thought it was SQUAWK! 2011. I mean, if you’re trying to start drama or get me to say something here… (sits, puts sunglasses back on) You know what? I’m just over the drama. I don’t need that kind of negative energy in my life right now. I had enough of that with Perez and I am in a better place now. Don’t try to take me there. I’m an artist. A SQUAWK! artist. SQUAWK!
Miguel from RockGamer Studios
HMX: Tell us a bit about your decision to license “Bodies” by Lolita for inclusion in the Rock Band Network.
Miguel: We at RockGamer are always striving to break new ground and bring fresh material to the Rock Band platform. Bang Camaro, Graveyard BBQ, Tijuana Sweetheart, The Acro-Brats... it’s never been done before. We were the first to bring them to rhythm games, and we’re damn proud of it. Why did we decide to license three entire albums by the same artist [Amberian Dawn]? Because we like to keep things fresh around here. Like a crisper overflowing with power metal/metalcore.
So where was I? Oh yeah, why “Bodies.” First RBN song by a bird, duh. Squawkcore is the new crabcore.
HMX: What was it like, working with a celebrity as big as Lolita?
Miguel: Honestly, at first I was skeptical. I’d heard of talking horses and singing frogs before, but a singing BIRD?!? It just had to be fake. But sure enough, I spoke with her on the phone, and after hearing her pitch-perfect renditions of “Old McDonald” and “Row Your Boat,” I was convinced that she was the real deal.
HMX: Did you have a hard time securing the rights to the track?
Miguel: It was a bit of a process, yeah. Unbeknownst to me, “Bodies” is NOT an original piece by Lolita. It was originally written and recorded by Drowning Pool. So we contacted them and they were stoked. They basically said “Hey, we’re all for anything that helps get our music out there!” Plus, they admitted that they prefer Lolita’s cover over the original.
Getting the paperwork finalized was a project all by itself. First off, we’d never been asked to pay a client in bird seed before. Our lawyers went back and forth for WEEKS figuring out a mutually agreeable cash-to-birdseed exchange. Once we agreed on terms, we had to wait for Lolita to figure out how to use a fax machine. Turns out, she kept forgetting to press ‘9’ to dial out, so that slowed down the process quite a bit. Gladly, we got everything figured out, and here we are, ready to see Lolita descend upon the masses and take the Rock Band world by... STOOOOOOOORM!!!